URLs du Jour - 2014-11-21

Once again, a catchup UDJ post:

  • I liked Keith Hennesey's take on MIT prof Jonathan Gruber's invocation of the "stupidity of the American voter".

    Now: goodness knows I have no illusions about the intelligence of the electorate that elected President Obama twice and (in my own state) just re-elected Jeanne Shaheen. But Keith notes that when lefties digress on "stupidity" it is really a composite complaint, lumping together at least six different gripes against its target. RTWT, but Keith's conclusion is well-taken:

    If American voters are stupid because they think academic credentials do not perfectly equate with intelligence…

    If they are stupid because they think policy decisions should be informed both by sound science and values…

    If they are stupid because they would rather let people make their own mistakes than allow government to make different mistakes for them…

    If they are stupid because they support less redistribution than certain progressive policymakers and their allies in academia…

    If they are stupid because they don’t spend all their time trying to sift through policies intentionally designed to deceive them…

    If they are stupid because they trust that elected and especially appointed American officials will not abuse the power temporarily granted to them…

    … then I’m with stupid.

    Yes. Me too.

  • In the earlier days of the Obama Administration, Pun Salad invented the word "Barackrobatics" to refer to President Obama's rhetorical tics that were reliable indicators that he was saying was detached from reality, lacking in honesty, or demagogic bullshit. (And often all of the above.) Pun Salad's efforts to popularize the word went nowhere, as you can tell by asking the Google.

    Nevertheless, Megan McArdle gets so close to "Barackrobatics" when she headlines her analysis of the President's immigration speech last night "Obama's Immigration Speech Acrobatics".

    There's a perfect word to describe President Barack Obama's speech tonight, and that word is "blatherskite." He was supposed to be explaining his actions to regularize the status of millions of undocumented immigrants; what he delivered was a festival of glorious nonsense.

    I watched "The Big Bang Theory" instead.

  • The word "blatherskite" does not appear in Kevin D. Williamson latest article. It is a generalized discussion of the dishonesty of our rulers, of which Obama's speech was but one example. RTWT (I probably don't need to say that), but the penultimate paragraph is:

    The problem of illegal immigrants is not insoluble; it is, rather, a problem that people in power do not wish to solve, partly out of anxiety related to Hispanic identity politics, partly because many of them find it convenient to maintain a permanent class of marginalized serf labor. That is the truth obscured by the gigantic heap of lies piled up around the immigration debate — that we are ruled by criminals who will ruthlessly violate the law while claiming that they not only enjoy the authority to do so but occupy the moral high ground as well.

    As Iowahawk says:

  • A straight news story from Reuters leads off:

    The U.S. Export-Import Bank has mischaracterized potentially hundreds of large companies and units of multinational conglomerates as small businesses, a flaw in its record keeping that could undermine the export lender's survival strategy.

    Or, shorter: they lied, they got caught.

  • Daniel J. Mitchell notes that Ex-Im is just one example of reprehensibility:

    [T]here are some forms of redistribution and intervention that are so self-evidently odious and corrupt that you can’t give supporters the benefit of the doubt. Simply stated, there’s no justifiable argument for using government coercion to hurt poor people in order to benefit rich people.

    Another recent example, Mitchell notes, is the Obama Administration's efforts to shut down Wisconsin's school choice system, clearly a goodie thrown to benefit teacher unions at the expense of poorer students.

  • There is now one less reason for Mrs. Salad to keep me around: Meet Boris, the robot that can load a dishwasher.